Friday, November 4, 2011

Cruelty Free Friday: Gimme Shelter

Nubian kid goats like my goat 'Polly' from years ago

With World Vegan Day having kicked off the week and heart-filled stories of compassion and animal rights awareness consequently circulating the web, I thought that I would highlight some of my favorites for today's Cruelty Free Friday coverage.

'In the Company of Animals, Healing for Humans' in the New York Times: A touching profile of The Gentle Barn, a community facility in Santa Clarita, California, where abused farm animals are healed and rehabilitated and invited visitors with emotional and physical challenges have the opportunity to interact with them. As some one who grew up on a small family farm, I know the healing power that animals have. There was many an afternoon when I curled up and took a nap with my Nubian goat, Polly, either in her hay-laden niche in the barn or on my bed in the house. Polly understood things that humans did not, and because of this, growing up was just a tad bit easier.

(image courtesy of Mission Savvy)

historic bill to end cruelty to circus animals was also announced this week. Jennifer Miller of Mission Savvy shared via Facebook the following quote, "The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act is the first bill to comprehensively tackle the use of all wild animals in U.S. circuses ever to be launched in the U.S. It is a chance to break the chain of circus animal suffering in the U.S. once and for all." – Animal Defenders International. Kudos to activists Bob Barker and Jorja Fox for helping to push this initiative forward.

The lovely Maria Miller Wolfson, creator of Vegucated
(image courtesy of

Vegucated, the film, is officially scheduled be shown in thirteen cities across the United States. "Vegucated is a guerilla-style documentary that follows three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food." Dear friend Donna Oakes of Cow Jones Industrials posted about this project awhile ago, and it is exciting to see how far they have journeyed via their campaign on Kickstarter.

Penguins at the wildlife rehabilitation facility set up at Tauranga, NZ
(image courtesy of Maritime New Zealand)

Hand-knit sweaters for penguins? After this story went to totally viral during the past few weeks, it is important to read this update provided by International Bird Rescue. Apparently providing a warm and cozy environment is the ideal solution for our penguin friends impacted by the Rena oil spill in New Zealand. "To help the birds stay warm and limit the amount of preening, we only have to do one thing – house birds in a warm, ventilated area. When birds are warm, they reduce their preening because they are comfortable. When they are cold, they are stimulated to preen in an attempt to correct the loss of body heat. Our research and experience over the course of hundreds of spills has shown us that when we keep them warm while they are still oiled they do well." – Jay Holcomb , Director Emeritus, International Bird Rescue

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